Francis Sardauna writes that empowering 11,901 vulnerable people at the Katsina Vocational Training Center will significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of the state and Nigeria.
A disturbing display of astronomical youth unemployment statistics in Nigeria, recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has again sparked nationwide concern over possible social upheaval if left unchecked by the competent authorities. According to NBS data, Nigeria’s national unemployment rate rose to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 27.1% in the second quarter of the same year, while the underemployment rate fell from 28 , 6% to 22.8% over the same period. .
With statistics and explanations from the NBS, Nigeria’s youth population eligible for work is around 40 million, with only 14.7 million full-time employees, and around 11.2 million having no means of identifiable income, although they are presented as “future leaders”. The unemployment toll in the country clearly portrays an increase in inactive hands across Nigeria. More worryingly, young people, in most cases, do not even have the platform to express themselves freely in the country, making unemployment the biggest challenge facing young people today.
Unfortunately, it has become a looming national security issue. Therefore, NBS statistics leave no doubt that the government is not yet ready to take unemployed youth off the streets. Moreover, the statistics are clearly a recipe for social discord across the country.
To tackle this long-standing problem, the Katsina Vocational Training Center (KTC) for the past 20 years has championed its humanitarian services for children, women, youth and less privileged students and especially vulnerable areas of the 34 local government areas of Katsina State. The non-governmental organization (NGO), which operates out of Katsina, located at 09 MD Yusuf Street, Kerau district, was established in 2000 by the late IG police, MD Yusuf to train and empower vulnerable young people, identify demoralized youth who have engaged in drug abuse and political violence in order to help them out of the threat.
Other overarching goals of the organization are to find effective ways to help people boost their businesses and professional endeavors, from unearthing gifted and talented young people who have no one to sponsor them, to achieving academic excellence. , as well as to enable people with disabilities to appreciate the fact that there is a “capacity in disability”.
Despite the death of the octogenarian, the vocational training center trains students in sewing, shoemaking, electrical wiring, welding, automotive and automotive mechanics, carpentry, repair and GSM operation, computer and internet management, fish farming, bakery, driving, services catering and catering, among other notable professional skills.
To maintain its corporate social responsibility, the center has, since its creation, trained and empowered more than 11,901 carefully selected vulnerable people in the 34 local government areas of the state with a view to strengthening their businesses and professional skills which would make them autonomous. dependent. This has reduced their overreliance on government for white collar jobs, many of whom have noticed are not available.
Created from the need to touch lives and improve the socio-economic development of the needy and the country as a whole, the vocational training center has also trained 2,770 inmates at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Katsina, and 870 others. at the Katsina Correctional Center.
In addition to the aforementioned unprecedented achievements, the center is committed to providing solutions for effective skills development, such as the management and administration of skills development centers in an outsourced environment, candidates mobilized, trained and certified for employment, skills inventories; construction-operate-transfer of skills development centers, as well as process design, framework for skills trainers inside and outside the state.
Despite apprehensions of the difficult economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Katsina Vocational Training Center has not disappointed the hopes of these teeming vulnerable people, especially young people, women and children. The center trusted them and hosted International Youth Day 2021, where it provided another group of 315 young people with sewing and knitting machines, fashion design machines and take-off capital for the sustainability of their businesses.
Speaking during the program, Center coordinator Malam Muhammad Danjuma Katsina explained that the business kits presented to the 315 graduate trainees would serve as start-up support for them to set up various businesses and vocations.
Katsina, a seasoned journalist and editor of the acclaimed Katsina City News Magazine and Taskar Labarai, urged the beneficiaries, who were mostly young people and women, to make the most of the opportunity to grow and become relevant in the country’s economic redevelopment plans.
He said: “As a proactive vocational training center, we have put in place many youth empowerment programs, many skills development initiatives that will bring out the best in our young people and give them the opportunity to use their talents and creativity to develop. themselves and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the state and the country as a whole.
“It is only through vocational training and empowerment programs like this that we can reduce the burden of unemployment in Katsina, which will help efforts to tackle insecurity.
He explained that the empowerment programs would help young people to develop their potential, saying, “We believe this will solve the problem of youth unrest, reduce crimes and other vices that may undermine development efforts through the community. country”.
According to him, the Katsina Vocational Training Center was established to, among other things, harness the energies and abilities of teeming Nigerian youth to propel them into the much-needed economic recovery, in line with the economic diversification plans of the Federal Government and the United States. State.
The coordinator of the center, who denounced the alarming unemployment figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, warned that the situation should not be allowed to degenerate further, given the bright ideas and big dreams of young people. He added that the center will continue to help young people and implement their business ideas, thus providing the mechanism to boost growth, reduce unemployment and tackle youth unrest.
In his goodwill message at the event, the state’s chief justice, Judge Abubakar Musa Danladi, apparently concerned about the growing insecurity facing the nation, urged young people to engage in productive ventures that would improve their lives and the nation.
He said now is the time for young Nigerians to speak out about their involvement in crimes and engage in skillful ventures that will make them more useful to themselves, their communities, the nation and Africa. in general. He said the government was highlighting a leadership role that would prevent young people from being used as an instrument of distraction, of destabilization at the hands of some selfish politicians who never meant good to them and to the country.
Danladi stressed that young people must reorient their mentality towards productive businesses, bring out the innovations given by God through the different innovation poles, knowledge sharing, professional development, networking, mentoring and impact, including partnership, coherence, transparency for growth; youth empowerment and sustainable development in society.
The training and empowerment of over 11,901 vulnerable people through the Katsina Vocational Training Center would undoubtedly contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Katsina State and Nigeria in general. Speakers at the center stressed the urgent need for state government, philanthropists, religious and traditional leaders to support the center in its quest to remove unemployed youth from the streets.
The founder of the center, MD Yusuf, born November 10, 1931, died in 2015 from a brief illness. He was Inspector General of Police (IGP) between July 30, 1975 and 1979. Yusuf was seconded to the Nigerian Police (NPF) as Deputy Commissioner of Police (ACP) in 1962.
He obtained his primary, secondary and higher education diplomas from Katsina Provincial School, Katsina, School of Arab Studies, Kano, 1947, Institute of Administration, Zaria (1952 – 1953) and Christ Church College (University from Oxford). Among his many distinctions, the former police chief held the medal of the Nigerian police, Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (COFR), Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON).
After his retirement from the NPF, Mr. Yusuf held various national positions, such as President of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited in 1994, Chairman of the Central Working Committee of the Arewa Consultative Forum, a northern cultural and socio-political association ( 2001) and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Police Reform of Nigeria.
Yusuf passed away seven years ago, but his memory still lives on in the minds of many because of the legacy and humanitarian service he rendered during his lifetime.
He was also a presidential candidate on the platform of the Basic Democratic Movement and the Movement for Democracy and Justice. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.